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Friday, April 25, 2014

B&N Launches E-Textbook App

Barnes & Noble retired its NookStudy digital education platform and is replacing it with Yuzu. The new e-textbook app was launched as a beta version in April for the iPad and the Internet Explorer or Safari 6.1/7 web browsers.

Students will still be able to read digital content and take notes with Yuzu, just as they could with the Nook Study app. The app is also linked with the B&N FacultyEnlight website, according to Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader. FacultyEnlight allows instructors to search for content and assemble it into coursepacks, and provides a place to sell original course materials through Nook Press and the Nook Store.

B&N plans to have an Android app and support more web browsers by the time Yuzu officially launches this summer. However, Hoffelder is already on record as saying the future of digital textbooks is in publishers selling directly to schools, so he doesn’t see a bright future for Yuzu.

“Everything I have read today suggests that Barnes & Noble is pursuing a retail strategy where they sell (or rent) digital textbooks to students,” he wrote. “Given the general failure of the digital textbook market, this does not bode well for B&N.”

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